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Washington Report – July 1, 2021

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: July 1, 2021


On June 24, Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA), the top negotiators on police reform, released a statement on the status of negotiations saying they have come to an agreement on “a framework addressing the major issues for bipartisan police reform”. The statement went on to say that there is still more work to be done and “nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to”. They have pushed the deadline back for finalizing a bipartisan proposal yet again to before Congress adjourns for August recess; On June 23, President Biden announced his Administration’s “Comprehensive Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gun Crime and Ensure Public Safety” in response to the latest numbers on violent crime rates, particularly gun-related crimes, across the country, which are the highest in over a decade. A significant part of the strategy is providing state and local law enforcement resources to help them tackle violent crime in the communities they serve. Specifically, funding may be used to rehire police officers and other public servants to restore law enforcement and courts to their pre-pandemic levels; The NAPO supported Expanding Health Care Options for Early Retirees Act (H.R. 4148 / S. 2236) was reintroduced June 24. This legislation would allow retired public safety officers ages 50 to 64 to buy-in to Medicare; On June 22, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “Examining Federal Sentencing for Crack and Powder Cocaine”. Rather than being a bipartisan hearing that explored the issues of crack versus powder cocaine and the impact of and reasonings for the sentencing disparity, it was a partisan show in support of the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act, sponsored by Chairman Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). The EQUAL Act would eliminate the sentencing ratio for crack and powder cocaine offenses and repeal mandatory minimums associated with crack cocaine offenses. NAPO submitted a letter for the hearing advising the Committee of our opposition to the EQUAL Act.

Click on the July 1, 2021 Washington Report below for further information on these and other legislative initiatives.

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